Napa? Sonoma? Mendocino? Nope! Today we’re heading east, to El Dorado County, for a “Drink Wine With Dinner” Day barbecue at Sierra Vista Winery.
Sierra Vista not only makes some of the tastiest Syrah anywhere, but now, with this exclusive, readers-only link ~ Sierra Vista Syrah ~ 20% Off!!! ~ *you* can order your very own stash of Syrah at a 20% discount!
Owners John and Barbara MacCready (Mac CRAY-dee) planted their first grapes in 1972 ~ and established Sierra Vista Winery two years later ~ in the gorgeous Sierra Nevada foothills between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe.
This is “Gold Country,” where the original ‘49ers made their fortunes. And in the “liquid gold” department, some of California’s oldest vines are here, still bearing fruit.
Within the region, the climate varies a great deal ~ some vineyard sites are hot enough to produce late-harvest Zinfandel, and others, such as Sierra Vista’s estate plantings, are cool enough to grow Chardonnay.
Sierra Vista Winery produces a wide variety of award-winning wines, from Sauvignon Blanc to Cabernet Sauvignon. But it’s best known for its wonderful, rich Syrah.
John and Barbara compare the growing conditions of their estate vineyard ~ the oldest Syrah planting in the Foothills ~ to the northern Rhone Valley of France, where Syrah is king. (They also produce several other Rhone specialties, including Grenache, Mourvedre, Viognier and Roussanne.)
I flat-out *love* this wine. I’ve poured Sierra Vista Syrah with braised lamb shanks, with Italian sausages, with chunks of plain parmesan cheese, and even with In-N-Out Burgers (!). It always comes through as a *fantastic* partner to food, and the tannins are mellow enough that *this* Syrah (unlike many others) is delicious by itself, too…
I’ll let John and Barbara describe their Sierra Vista Syrah: “Dark purple with rich hues of garnet and plum. The aromas are of spices and leather, with black fruits. In the mouth, the tannins open to layers of rich spice and bold fruit.”
Mmmm ~ My mouth is watering already! I think I know what I’ll open with that nice slab of ribs I was planning to serve tonight. (Now where’s that corkscrew…?)
Speaking of ribs, Barbara’s plan for “Drink Wine With Dinner” Day includes an easy pork recipe that she modified from ribs to boneless tenderloin…
Sticky Ribs (adapted from a recent Sunset Magazine cookbook, p. 421) ~ serves 4-6
2 to 3 lbs pork tenderloin
1 1/2 Tbl. chili powder
1 1/2 Tbl. kosher salt
1 Tbl. cumin seeds
1/2 cup honey
3 Tbl. fresh lime juice
Vegetable oil or cooking-oil spray
Combine chili powder, salt and cumin seeds to make a dry rub, and coat the pork tenderloins.
For the glaze, combine honey and lime juice.
Using a covered BBQ kettle, cook meat over direct heat for a few minutes on each side. Brush on the glaze.
Then, as John says, “move the tenderloin to indirect heat, with one end almost over the coals and one not, and cook for 20-25 minutes (or until it’s done to your liking). Barbara likes her pork well done and I like it better with just a hint of pink.”
Serve with Sierra Vista Syrah, of course. Enjoy!
As always, my friends,